Bon Anniversaire à Paris
We arrived at the newly reopened Hôtel Plaza Athénée (part of the Dorchester Collection), and were greeted by our friend Sebastian. The Hôtel Plaza Athénée is situated on the avenue Montaigne, neighboring the Eiffel Tower, with a view visible from nearly every room.
The suite was both sumptuous and comfortable, and it was wonderful to see the result of years of renovation at the hotel. We had a lovely lunch at their more casual restaurant, Le Relais Plaza, which is definitely a place to see and be seen.
Later, we went to meet up for cocktails with our friend, Ann, at Le Royal Monceau Hotel. The art on display at this hotel is stunning and beautifully curated, as is the design of the hotel itself. The barman at the hotel’s Le Bar Long was a creative maestro. As we chatted with him and his team, they artfully orchestrated a symphony of ingredients resulting in a cocktail perfectly paired with its recipient and their day.
We followed this up with a meal at Le Matignon, a restaurant owned by the Hotel Costes. A lavish, over-the-top hotspot in Paris, it was the perfect place to begin the celebrations for my birthday week. The restaurant itself was a small intimate, dimly lit, cozy gem, which had a DJ spinning the perfect soundtrack for the evening. The result of this combination was a modern Parisian version of a Studio 54. The other patrons were almost as if they were part of the entertainment as well. Across the room, at another table, there was a man dripping in sequins, sipping a cocktail as the rest of his party snapped selfies and gossiped in their furs. One woman chatted and laughed as her tiny dog lapped champagne from her glass.
When dessert was brought to the table, rather than candles on a cake for a traditional birthday dessert, we were presented with French toast and surrounded by sparkling Roman Candles. Showered in sparks and champagne, we celebrated my birthday in larger-than-life Parisian fashion.
On another day, we went to see the Palais Garnier, the Paris Opera House. It was fun to explore and see the historic box reserved for the Phantom. We learned about the history and architecture of this magnificent building, and visited the Bibliothèque-Musée de l’Opéra National de Paris, the library and museum containing costumes and set designs from the Opera House.
After a casual stroll exploring the Tulleries Gardens, we joined our friends Cecile and Christophe for afternoon tea with champagne, cakes, and finger sandwiches at the Hotel Le Meurice.
As it was my partner’s first time in Paris, we climbed the stairs up to Sacré-Cœur, and were rewarded with a breathtaking view of the city. We enjoyed exquisite massages at the Dior Institut at La Plaza Athénée, to ease our aching muscles after that hike.
On my birthday, we had agreed to meet Jason for a drink and embark on an evening of his own planning. We were collected from the Plaza Athénée by a friend of ours, and proceeded to meet Jason at the Hotel Le Bristol. He greeted us in the lobby, with open arms and explained that we would have a drink in the gorgeous lobby bar before dinner. As we rounded the corner to the secluded seating area he had reserved, I was greeted by a wonderful surprise. Sheri and Blaine from The Accomplished Traveler team had flown over along with other friends and industry colleagues to join us in celebrating my birthday. We were completely shocked and thrilled. What a special team we have at The Accomplished Traveler.
Dinner that evening was at the Hotel Le Bristol, with a menu hand-selected by Jason and the chef. We proceeded on to a speakeasy for cocktails and bottle service as we laughed and danced the night away. What a truly remarkable and humbling experience to enjoy such fun with such incredible friends and colleagues.
To experience some of the magic of Paris yourself, please contact The Accomplished Traveler at 212.586.2020.
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